Investors are waiting for a trio of economic reports due before the opening bell, as well as fresh signals from the European Central Bank.
S&P 500 futures ESH7, -0.10% dipped by 2.10 points, or 0.1%, to 2,264.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, -0.10% edged down by 19 points, or 0.1%, to 19,716. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, -0.07% gave up 3.25 points, or 0.1%, to 5,051.25.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.18% and Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, but the Dow DJIA, -0.11% shed 0.1%.
The U.S. stock market’s “Trump rally” has lost some steam ahead of the president-elect’s inauguration on Friday. It “remains in consolidation mode,” showing little direction, said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note Thursday.
“Traders will be firmly focused on the ECB monetary policy meeting,” Perry added.
The central bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged Thursday, putting the focus on ECB President Mario Draghi’s news conference at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Investors are looking for confirmation that the bank’s quantitative easing will carry on as planned.
Read: How the Trump rally stacks up to other postelection jumps
And see: Here’s how stocks perform in a new president’s first 100 days
Individual movers: Shares in Netflix Inc. NFLX, +0.28% traded 8% higher in premarket action after the streaming video giant posted better-than-expected quarterly results late Wednesday. Netflix added 7.05 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, roughly double the 3.57 million it gained in the third quarter.
“Despite significant increases in competition, we believe the company’s advantages are growing,” said Pacific Crest analysts in an “Earnings Recap” note. They raised their price target for Netflix’s stock to $170 from $135 and backed their rating of overweight, or buy. The stock was on track to open around $144 on Thursday, setting it up for a record close.
See: Netflix is about to be bigger overseas than it is in the U.S.
And read: My dad talked me out of buying Netflix, but he wasn’t wrong
CSX Corp. CSX, -3.18% soared 16% following news that railroad-industry veteran Hunter Harrison is teaming with an activist investor in a bid to shake up CSX’s management.
Another railroad operator, Union Pacific Corp. UNP, +0.39% , was among the companies on the earnings docket ahead of the open. American Express Co. AXP, +1.16% and IBM IBM, -0.65% are due to report after the close.
Netflix signs deal with Jerry SeinfeldNetflix has signed a deal with comedian Jerry Seinfeld for two stand-up comedy specials and exclusive rights to his cult hit online show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
Economic news: Reports on weekly jobless claims, December housing starts and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve index for January are slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast 245,000 claims, 1.20 million starts and 16.0 for the Philly Fed gauge.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is due to give a speech at 8 p.m. Eastern at Stanford University, covering the economic outlook and monetary policy . On Wednesday, she said she expects rates to rise a few times a year until the end of 2019.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
Other markets: Oil futures CLG7, +0.94% traded higher, as the International Energy Agency warned OPEC’s cuts could backfire as rivals step into the gap. European stocks SXXP, -0.21% were mostly down, while Asian markets closed mixed. Gold futures GCG7, -0.67% traded lower, and a key dollar index DXY, -0.21% inched up.